Thursday, April 4, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #13 JOHN OLERUD


A MAIN COG OF THE '92-'93 JAYS DYNASTY.




OLERUD AND HIS TRADEMARK HARD HAT.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Few players drew less attention to themselves or had a sweeter swing than clean-cut John Olerud. He went from the campus of Washington State University cross-country to the Blue Jays clubhouse in 1989. He was drafted in the third round and signed on Aug. 29, making his major-league debut Sept. 3 at age 21. For a while, it looked like he might be bound for superstardom.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Aug. 2, 1993, after going 1-for-4 against the Yankees, Olerud ended the day at .400, the first batter to have a .400 average entering August since Ted Williams in '41. Olerud "slumped'' the rest of the way, going 54-for-186 (.290), to finish at .363.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Naturally, it's got to be '93. In addition to that gaudy average, Olerud hit 24 homers, drove in 107 runs, led the league in on-base percentage (.473) and OPS (1.072). He finished third in the AL MVP voting to runner-up and teammate #70 Paul Molitor and unanimous winner #102 Frank Thomas.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. He wore his trademark batting helmet in the field for protection because he suffered a brain aneurysm while in college.
  2. With the Cougars, Olerud was a freshman All-American pitcher.
  3. Finished his career with exactly 500 doubles.
  4. Traded to the Mets before the '97 season because the Jays had the emerging Carlos Delgado coming up from the minors.
  5. Came close to matching his '93 high-water mark five years later with the Mets, hitting .354 with 22 homers, 93 RBI, 36 doubles and a .998 OPS.

1 comment:

  1. Olerud is one of my favorite Players from the 90's definetly one of the most recognizable left-handed swings ever. Btw I'm following your blog I like it a lot keep it up. Check mine out http://truschoolsports.blogspot.com/ hopefully you join the site and follow back.

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